It's interesting to watch a string of thought develop on the Internet. Today's string was about waterboarding, a form of torture. It angers me when I hear variations of Giuliani's defense of torture: "It depends on how you do it" or "it depends on who does it." Torture is torture. Americans shouldn't be endorsing this behavior if we want to represent democracy and freedom.
Captain Ed presents several perspectives on waterboarding. One of them bothers me. A former Navy Seal comments that waterboarding isn't as severe as beheading or the torture tactics Saddam Hussein used. This is irrelevant. A free nation shouldn't practice torture. Period.
Andrew Sullivan relates a report of an instance of waterboarding used on black Mississippi residents. The Supreme Court of Mississippi had no problem calling the practice torture in 1926. Why couldn't U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey?
BarbinMD at Daily Kos notices that the courts actually have copies of CIA tapes and records relating to the handling of al-Qaeda suspects. If President Bush says we don't torture, then let's see the evidence.
Taylor Marsh has the video of the John McCain questioner asking: "How do we beat the
expletive?" in reference to Hillary Clinton. Marsh challenges the notion that media coverage of the Clinton campaign has been positive.
Ben Smith wonders how John Edwards can put out so many mailings in Iowa, but not run afoul of the public financing limits. He received a long response from the Federal Election Commission explaining.
Marc Ambinder comments on the negative poll questions about Hillary Clinton and John Edwards in Iowa. Negative poll questioning is sometimes an effort to influence votes by asking about a candidate's negative qualities. Ambinder says not to assume Barack Obama's campaign is behind these questions, because campaigns sometimes introduce questions to test their own negatives.
Jim Geraghty notices that Mitt Romney is surging in the polls in all of the early-primary states and padding his leads. This contradicts national polls where Romney hasn't moved. What's the deal?
Steve Benen has another angle on the story about former New York Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik and how it could be a disaster for Rudy Giuliani. Kerik's affair with Judith Regan has made it into her lawsuit against
. Regan says she has evidence of a cover-up.
Scarecrow at firedoglake.com points out Bush's hypocrisy regarding spending. The president is suddenly upset about a few billion dollars but has been busy wasting trillions. Hmm.
Michael at balloonjuice.com looks at the immigration situation. He's concerned that we're creating a permanent underclass by not creating opportunity. He suggests a merit-based system.